The last two and a half weeks have been very very different from anything we have yet experienced during our travels, for one main reason; we live in town. Its been a very strange experience to just be able to go to the pub 30 seconds away when we want a cider after dinner, or take a 10 minute walk to the store if we’re missing an ingredient for dinner. Its been a little hard on our finances, especially since there is an antique shop across the street that houses a “book cellar” where I’m fairly certain no one would ever find you if you got lost.
The town of Barmouth itself is lovely, peaceful, and friendly, and our home at the Bed and Breakfast/cafe has been even more so. Our host is Elisabeth, a very kind hearted, hard working woman from Austria. She makes the most amazing array of cakes to sell at the cafe, they are so delicious that Im starting to hope our next hope is a bad cook so I can lose some weight. Along with pounds, we have also gained some really amazing experience here, especially once the Cafe opened.
We spent the first week just getting things ready to open. Mostly scraping old wallpaper, doing minor patches on parts of the ceiling that were falling in, and painting. We did a lot of cleaning, removing and replacing the caulking in the showers, and washing and removing some old curtains and blinds. One of my favorite moments was when Elisabeth thought Tyler would be the natural decision for the one of us who would know how to replace blinds, but it was actually me. She watched me flip the little catch and take them down, and she asked, “How do you know how to replace blinds?” and the only thing I could think to say was, “We had a cat.”
We made our schedule a little different here too, we worked from 9-2 with no breaks so that we could have the whole afternoon to play, as the weather was absolutely beautiful. We spent almost every afternoon walking around on the huge sandy beach, eating ice cream, and playing frisbee. One day after work, Elisabeth drove us to the next town over and left us there so we could walk back on the bike trail. She neglected to mention that it was 9 miles back to Barmouth. But the walk was absolutely beautiful, and we made it back in good time.
The B&B and cafe opened on Friday, and we were BUSY. The first day was absolute bedlam, but it felt wonderful to make coffee again. Tyler did a lot of the orders and customer interactions, if you know Tyler, you know why. People loved to talk to him, especially when they heard his accent. Though, to be honest, most people think we’re from Canada, and we dont usually bother to correct them.
Wales is a beautiful place. It reminds me a lot of Norway, though the landscape and the weather are nowhere near as dramatic. Wales has the same wild energy, the vast empty spaces and beautiful mountains terminating in the sea. Welsh people though are extremely different. They love to talk. In fact, its usually better if we dont let them hear our accents at all because they like to give us advice on everything we should do on our travels, and that takes quite a while.
Easter weekend was busy, the town only houses 2,000 permanent residents, but during school holidays Barmouth comes alive. The work was fun, and something entirely different than anything we have done on our trip so far. We have loved our time here, and it will be very hard to say goodbye on Wednesday, but it may be good to slow down on the book-buying.